In what seemed to be a challenging weekend in off road events around the country, Andrew and Fletcher Murdock have claimed top prize at the prestigious Wynarka Enduro as part of the South Australian Off Road Racing Association Multi Club Series.
In a tough two-day event, which saw up to 40 crews tackle the 20km course in difficult conditions, the Pro-Buggy pilots managed to overcome a first day deficit to storm home on the final day a pick up a five-minute victory.
Like most off road races, the duo’s consistency played a major role in their victory as a number of top contenders failed to handle the conditions and didn’t to finish or made errors that cost them dearly.
One of those crews to lose their positions due to critical mistakes were eventual runner-ups in Matt Curtis and Brad Traynor, who saw their good work from day one lost after going off the track twice and posting inconsistent times on Sunday.
The Pro-lite class winners went into the second day with a lead of seven seconds over the next crew in Brad and Paris Gallard, while the Murdocks had to make up almost two minutes in order to catch the leaders.
The Murdocks turned on the pressure during the second section, posting the fastest time on the first four laps and claiming the lead in the process, before Curtis and Traynor eventually posted the fastest lap – their first and only for the day.
It wasn’t enough to get them back into the race though as the eventual winners ended up running away with the event over the remaining three laps, including a two-minute faster final lap to seal the race.
Rounding out the top three a further seven minutes behind Curtis and Traynor was the only non-South Australian top 10 placer in New South Welshman Tanner James, the Sportslite buggy class winner crossing the line less than two minutes ahead of Todd Lehmann and Jeff Tucker.
Other notable class victories saw Sam Vantsone and Larissa Jeffery take out the seven-crew Super 1650 Buggy class, John Smith and Grant Manion the Extreme 2WD and outright seventh placed Jeff and Jai Loader pick up the Performance 2wd class.
While there was a lot of celebration for crews who were able to finish the event, more than half the field walked away in disappointment after being unable to finish.
The biggest crew to retire were the Gallards, as the pair were unable to continue their solid second place finish in the first section, their trophy truck succumbing to power steering dramas on day two’s second lap, while CV failure forced Robert Plant out of the race on the penultimate lap.
However of the 16 crews to face a premature exit, it was current SAORRA Multiclub series point score leader Mark Alvino who was the biggest surprise, the Victorian Sportslite driver hitting a stump on the 10th lap.
The final round of the SAORRA Multiclub series takes place in Mannum early next month.